There are many benefits to using organic and natural products. Natural and organic products are good for the environment because they are produced to minimise their environmental impact at each phase of their life cycle. They are also good for you - as they do not contain toxic chemicals.
Why use organic skin care ?
Natural and organic skin care products use ingredients such as herbs, roots, and flowers which are combined with natural oils and waters. These ingredients do not include chemicals that may be harmful to you.
A few good reasons for choosing organic or natural skincare:-
- only natural ingredients are being used on your skin with no toxic or harmful chemicals
- you have sensitive skin or allergies and want to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals
- the plant extracts used in organic products are of a far higher quality and more potent, meaning that less is required to get the same effect
- you are concerned about the impact in waterways and on the environment
- you want to support chemical-free farming (*refer to information about organic farming below)
You may ask – is it all really worth it? Is what we put on our skin really important? The simple answer is yes! Most people are careful about what they eat but don’t consider the effects of what they use on their skin. The skin absorbs whatever we put on it, so any chemicals can be carried through the body.
When you are using skin care that is organic or natural, you don’t have to worry about putting anything harmful or unnatural on your face or body. Organic ingredients are higher in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients so are healthier for you and are less likely to cause allergies or reactions from their use.
Ingredients you may want to avoid in your skin care products
Following are a few ingredients which are suspected of causing skin irritations and possibly more serious health issues.
Ethanolamines - Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA): used as emulsifiers, thickeners, wetting agents, detergents, and pH stabilizers. Have the potential to create nitrosamines (N-nitrosodiethanolamine), which are known to be highly carcinogenic (a substance capable of causing or promoting cancer).
Formaldehyde: A toxic chemical known to be a carcinogen (a substance capable of causing or promoting cancer). It is an allergen and causes skin irritations.
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea: used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth. Known to be a relatively common cause of contact dermatitis. Imidazolidinyl Urea may release formaldehyde, a toxic chemical.
Isopropyl alcohol: can be very drying and cause skin irritations. It can strip the skin of its natural acid mantle, promoting the growth of bacteria, moulds and viruses. It may also cause premature ageing of skin.
Mineral oil: is a petrochemical product (meaning it’s derived from crude oil). Linked to skin irritations and allergies. The problem with mineral oil in moisturisers and other skin care products is that it clogs the pores of the skin. This is why it can lead to acne, and also means that the skin is more limited in its natural ability to purge toxins.
Parabens (eg. Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl and Butyl Paraben): a synthetic preservative used to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold and extend the shelf life of products. They are known hormone disruptors (synthetic chemicals that are able to interfere with the function of our hormones). Causes allergic reactions and skin rashes.
Phthalates: used as a plasticiser (substance added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity). They may disrupt the normal workings of the endocrine (hormone) system. Phthalates can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled and exposure to the chemicals could cause a wide range of health and reproductive problems.
Propylene Glycol: a synthetic petrochemical used as an emulsifying base in creams and lotions to make the skin look smooth. Can cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis and possibly allergic reactions.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate: a harsh detergent found in shampoos, liquid soaps and cleaners. It is likely to cause skin irritation, dryness and other damage.
Synthetic colours: some synthetic colors can be carcinogenic (a substance capable of causing or promoting cancer). They are labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number, e.g. FD&C Red No. 6 or D&C Green No. 6.
Synthetic fragrances: there is no way to know which synthetic fragrances are in the product, as they are simply listed as “Fragrance", “perfume” or “parfum”. They do not provide any skin benefits so best to avoid them.
What is organic farming?
Basically, it is the use of various organic farming techniques without using synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic farming is a holistic farm management approach, where rotations and animals play an integral part.
Organic farming can replenish soil nourishment by:
- crop rotation - composting and recycling crop wastes and animal manures - mulching - using the right soil cultivation at the right time
To control pests, diseases and weeds, organic farmers:
- use good cultivation practice - use resistant crops - encourage beneficial bugs that eat pests - use natural pesticides
The positive effect of organic farming on the environment is the reduction of water being used, the careful use of water resources, less soil erosion, improved fertility, safer groundwater and more abundant wildlife.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade is about empowering producers in developing nations by ensuring:
• producers get a fair wage for their goods and services • healthy and safe working conditions, including equal employment opportunities • exploitative child or forced labor are not allowed • producers and buyers develop direct long-term relationships • producers have access to financial and technical assistance • sustainable production practices are encouraged
Together we can create more awareness of consumer power and make a real change by supporting and buying fairly traded products.
Benefits of 100% beeswax candles
Based on the U.S. market, over 95% of candles sold today are made from paraffin. Paraffin is a toxic, petrochemical byproduct.
Most of the other 5% of candles sold are made from soy wax or palm wax. However, the issue with soy or palm is whether the process of turning the soy or palm oil into a wax is producing harmful toxins, and has the soy or palm been grown sustainably (no deforestation of the Amazon rainforest or clearing in other countries that will have devastating effects on the environment). If you're choosing soy or palm products for environmental reasons, check with your supplier or retailer that the wax they’re using is not contributing to the deforestation of rainforests.
Beeswax is a natural product made from a clean, renewable source. 100% beeswax candles are long lasting and clean burning, so no toxic smoke is emitted (unlike commercially produced paraffin candles). So considering the burning quality, longer burning time and the health aspects, 100% beeswax candles offer much greater value.
100% beeswax is a natural ioniser that will purify the air from dust, pollen, odours, toxins, mould and mildew whilst leaving a light, natural honey scent. Burning 100% beeswax candles is the simplest and most effective way of purifying the air that you breathe. By burning 100% pure beeswax candles a few times a week, and vacuuming a couple of times a week, your home will be cleaner, smell sweeter and the air you breathe will be healthier.
Plastic bag facts
- Australians use 3.92 billion plastic bags a year, that's over 10 million new bags being used every day
- An estimated 3.76 billion bags are disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia every year
- Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute or 429,000 bags every hour
- It is estimated that around 50 million bags enter the Australian litter stream every year. Unless they are collected, they remain in the environment and accumulate at a staggering rate. If these 50 million plastic bags were made into a single plastic sheet, it would be big enough to cover the Melbourne CBD
- Australians are the second highest producers of waste, per person, in the world with each of us sending over 690 kilograms of waste to landfill each year (the United States is the highest waste producer). On average, all Australian capital cities will reach their present landfill capacity by 2010
- Many thousands of marine mammals and seabirds die every year around the world as a result of plastic litter. When the animal dies and decays the plastic is free again to repeat the deadly cycle. There are 2 major reasons that plastic bags are particularly problematic in the litter stream:
1. They last from 20 - 1 000 years 2. They escape and float easily in air and water, travelling long distances
- Currently, only 3% per cent of plastic bags used in Australia are recycled.
(Source: Clean Up Australia)
There are lots of good reasons why we should be recycling and reducing our waste. By recycling, we are protecting our environment and reducing pollution in our water, air and land.
Recycle at every opportunity and only using the “Tip” as a last resort, will minimise land fill.
What is recyclable?
Renewable resources such as paper, aluminium, plastic, cardboard, cork, water food and vegetable scraps.
Don’t forget, that recycling doesn’t have to be limited to items such as these. Recycling can also include items such as clothing and furniture. Donate your used clothing or furniture to charities or second hand shops, who will gladly take them.
Recycling know how
Everyone can recycle, it’s that easy! Here are some tips to assist with sorting through your rubbish and creating a sustainable lifestyle, whilst reducing the impact on our environment.
Paper and cardboard
Newspapers, magazines, the paper we write on, envelopes and cardboard packaging etc, can all be recycled. Place it in your fortnightly Council paper recycling bin, where it will be sent to a paper recycling Centre for reproduction of new paper.
For every 100 reams of paper that are printed double sided, two trees could be saved!
Typically, boxes and containers with greasy food stains or remnants cannot be recycled. So leave your pizza boxes out of the recycling unless they're just about spotless!
Plastic bottles and milk cartons
These can be recycled and are used to create new drink or milk cartons or recycled into other paper based or plastic products. You can even re-use these items around your own home.
You can reuse the water that you wash your clothes, yourself, or your dishes in by storing, treating and reusing as grey water, to water your plants and garden. Rain water tanks are definitely worth installing in your garden.
Food and vegetable scraps
Perfect for compost on your garden, reuse your left over vegetables or peels as compost, to create a sustainable and organic garden. Your plants will love you!
Plastic, paper and metal are all used as packaging for many food products. Plastic, tin cans, and cardboard boxes can all be recycled at a specialised recycling centre that makes new products out of used ones.
Oven-proof glass and drinking glass CANNOT be recycled
Don't forget to:
- Sort, check and remove any contaminants in your recycling rubbish
- Put recyclable materials in the correct kerb side recycling bin
- Separate non recyclable items such as lids, cigarette butts, crockery, and plastic shopping bags to minimise recycling contamination
- Always look for the recyclable symbols on plastic containers that will assist you in sorting your recyclable rubbish correctly
- Take advantage of your Local Council’s recycling initiatives
- Give unwanted items to a charity organisation or second hand store
Be eco friendly!
1. Don’t use plastic shopping bags, take your own bags when you go shopping
2. Start composting
3. Select products that are recyclable and avoid excess packaging!
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